abhor

verb
ab·​hor | \əb-ˈhȯr, ab-\
abhorred; abhorring

Definition of abhor 

transitive verb

: to regard with extreme repugnance : to feel hatred or loathing for : loathe abhorred violence

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Other Words from abhor

abhorrer \ -​ˈhȯr-​ər \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for abhor

Synonyms

abominate, despise, detest, execrate, hate, loathe

Antonyms

love

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Choose the Right Synonym for abhor

hate, detest, abhor, abominate, loathe mean to feel strong aversion or intense dislike for. hate implies an emotional aversion often coupled with enmity or malice. hated the enemy with a passion detest suggests violent antipathy. detests cowards abhor implies a deep often shuddering repugnance. a crime abhorred by all abominate suggests strong detestation and often moral condemnation. abominates all forms of violence loathe implies utter disgust and intolerance. loathed the mere sight of them

The Horror in Abhor

Abhor means “to loathe” or “to hate,” and while loathe and hate have roots in Old English, abhor derives from Latin. The roots of abhor can give us a deeper understanding of both the strength of the dislike expressed by the word and its relationship to other words in English. It came from the Latin word abhorrēre, which meant “to recoil from” or “to be repugnant to,” and was formed by combining ab-, meaning “from” and horrēre, meaning “to bristle,” “to tremble,” or “to shudder.” This word for trembling or shuddering in reaction to something scary or awful is related to the word that names of the cause of those reactions—the Latin word horror, which was later borrowed into English. The -hor of abhor is also the hor- of horror.

Examples of abhor in a Sentence

We believe we know that Americans abhor extremes and mistrust ideology. — David Frum, Atlantic, March 1995 I abhor latter-day, modishly camp take-offs of my cherished boyhood heroes and heroines (Little Orphan Annie, Wonder Woman, Invisible Scarlet O'Neil). — Mordecai Richler, New York Times Book Review, 3 May 1987 He abhorred grandiosity. When he came to New York to revise his manuscripts and galley proofs, he would hole up in a little cubicle on the attic floor of the old 52nd Street mansion that went by the name of Random House. — Norman Cousins, Saturday Review, April 1981 abhors the way people leave their trash at the picnic sites in the park
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Recent Examples on the Web

But nature abhors a vacuum, so talent will always fill in. Tom Perrotta, WSJ, "A Last Stand for the Golden Age of Men’s Tennis," 24 May 2018 Jobs initially abhorred the idea of allowing software developers to write programs for the phone. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Data Sheet—Celebrating Apple's Lucrative Switcheroo," 11 July 2018 The Europeans abhor Trump’s decision to impose steel and aluminum tariffs on a part of the world that is supposed to be the United States’ partner. Washington Post, "Friend or foe at NATO? Who knows when Trump comes to dinner," 10 July 2018 The Europeans abhor Trump's decision to impose steel and aluminum tariffs on a part of the world that is supposed to be the United States' partner. Raf Casert, Fox News, "Friend or foe at NATO? Who knows when Trump comes to dinner," 10 July 2018 Human nature abhors a boss, and politically, democracy serves as a safety valve. James Stavridis, Time, "Democracy Isn't Perfect, But It Will Still Prevail," 12 July 2018 Unlike Mr Trump, who abhors policy details, Mr López Obrador obsesses over them. The Economist, "How Andrés Manuel López Obrador will remake Mexico," 23 June 2018 And in much the same way that nature abhors a vacuum, con artists hate missing an opportunity to separate suckers from their money. Barry Ritholtz, chicagotribune.com, "A millionaire mindset never made anyone rich," 6 Apr. 2018 Kim has also promised a moratorium on weapons tests and that the talks would occur regardless of the looming U.S.-South Korea joint military drills, which Pyongyang abhors. Charlie Campbell / Beijing, Time, "Self-Championed Dealmaker Donald Trump Faces the Ultimate Test Meeting Kim Jong Un," 9 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'abhor.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of abhor

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for abhor

Middle English abhorren, borrowed from Latin abhorrēre, from ab- ab- + horrēre "to bristle, shiver, shudder" — more at horror entry 1

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Last Updated

18 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for abhor

The first known use of abhor was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for abhor

abhor

verb
ab·​hor | \ab-ˈhȯr \
abhorred; abhorring

Kids Definition of abhor

: to dislike very much : loathe He abhorred the idea of eating live worms …— Brian Jacques, Redwall

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